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Hydrosalpinx and Infertility

Hydrosalpinx and Infertility

What is a hydrosalpinx?

Though it sounds like an exotic Egyptian relic, a hydrosalpinx is a swollen and blocked fallopian tube. Because the end of the fallopian tube is closed off by scar tissue, fluid abnormally collects, causing further swelling and dilation of the fallopian tube.

Hydrosalpinges usually occur as a result of previous pelvic infection. Sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, are the most common culprits. However, damage can also be caused by abdominal infections — such as a ruptured appendix.

So, why is this a problem?

First of all, if the fallopian tube is completely blocked, there is no way for egg and sperm to meet.

Even if there is a partial fallopian tube blockage, the cilia (tiny finger-like projections inside the fallopian tube) often don’t work normally.  In women with hydrosalpinges, the cilia do not move properly and either cannot get the egg and sperm together – or are not able to direct the fertilized egg toward the uterus.  As well, the fluid collection can contain bacteria and other elements that are toxic to the fertilized egg.  Ectopic pregnancies are much more common in women with abnormally functioning fallopian tubes.

In most cases, a fertility specialist will recommend removing the abnormal fallopian tube(s) via a procedure called a laparoscopy. In isolated cases, repair of a damaged fallopian tube may be considered.  After surgery, pregnancy may be achieved if ovulation occurs on the side of a normal, remaining fallopian tube – or with IVF if both fallopian tubes are damaged. For more info on tubal abnormalities, please visit

And for further information regarding surgical management of infertility, please visit our website at  or call us at 512-451-0149

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Kaylen Silverberg, M.D.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, he received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt and attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed his Obstetrics & Gynecology residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and his infertility fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Dr. Silverberg is actively involved in infertility research and has published extensively in the infertility literature. He was recently honored by the American Fertility Association with the Family Building Award, and he is recognized annually by the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Silverberg. a fertility specialist, is board certified in both Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology.